Shooting A Weapon On A Highway – Penal Code §374c
You really don’t see this crime very often because it doesn’t really make much sense that people are firing weapons on the roadway. Usually, if a weapon is going to be fired on the roadway, it’s going to be because they are trying to shoot at somebody or commit some other crime, like a drive-by shooting. Then they will be charged with a much more serious crime. But if somebody is just out messing around firing weapons at road signs in the middle of the night, then they could be charged with Penal Code §374c in Los Angeles. It’s a misdemeanor and obviously, the authorities do not want people firing weapons on the road. As it stands now in Los Angeles County – and I’ve been practicing here for a long time, over twenty-five years – anything having to do with firing weapons is going to be a real problem for whoever the alleged offender is.
So, you’re going to have to have a real good reason to fire a weapon on a roadway in Los Angeles County. The restrictions are becoming harsher. They’re trying to block people from getting weapons. So, if you’ve violated Penal Code §374c, actually consider yourself lucky, because they could charge you with Penal Code §246 – negligent discharge – it’s a felony. They could try to put you in jail or prison.
Really, if you’re charged with this particular Penal Code Section in Los Angeles County and you fired a weapon on a roadway, then the police have basically told the prosecutors that they don’t believe you were trying to do anything else criminal besides just shoot a weapon on a roadway with nobody else around. But in Los Angeles County, the streets and freeways are so crowded. It’s such a hardy metropolis. Anybody firing a weapon is usually doing so because of road-rage or some criminal purpose. If you have a criminal purpose behind it, they’re not likely going to charge you with Penal Code §374c.
A lot of times people get booked for certain Penal Code Section and you could get booked for firing a weapon on a highway and the prosecutors look at it and decide we’re not going to file that charge. We think this person was up to something more sinister and we’re going to charge him with a different Penal Code Section. Whenever it comes to firing weapons, the prosecutors are always very quick to think the worst of people. So, what you need to do is get in front of a great criminal defense attorney. Give him your side of the story. Make sure that your version of events gets across to the prosecutors and the judge in the Los Angeles courthouse where your case is pending.
I’m local to most of the courthouses in LA County. I have offices all over. I travel every day. My first every day is to a courthouse somewhere in LA County unless I’m traveling for a federal case. So, if you have one of these weapon cases and you care about your freedom and you care about your ability and First Amendment right to possess a weapon, then you need to get with a criminal defense attorney who has handled these type of cases before, who knows how to deal with a weapon charge and knows how to tell your side of the story – get your version of events across to the prosecutor because a lot of time what I see in these possessions or firing of a weapon case is that the police only take one side of the story. They don’t get your version of events. That’s what your criminal defense attorney should be doing when you’re charged with a weapon violation. They should be getting your version of events across, otherwise, you’re going to be treated very poorly. You’re going to be looking at jail time or prison time – depending on whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or felony – and you’re going to be looking at losing your weapons rights for the rest of your life. So, get a great attorney. Set up a face-to-face meeting and we can see what we can do to help you out with your Penal Code §374c charge – shooting a weapon on a highway.
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